Student Chapters


ABOUT
 
ACS’s nationwide network of nearly 200 law school student chapters is fostering a new generation of progressive leaders. A list of all student chapters is available here.
 
If you are interested in helping to organize an ACS student chapter, please contact Student Chapters at campus@ACSLaw.org or 202-393-6181.
 
Not yet an ACS student member? Join our network today.
 
            

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SAVE THE DATE  Call to Action: Solidarity in the States

March 31- April 1, 2017

Duke University School of Law Durham, NC

Plan to join ACS and nearly 200 other student leaders in Durham for two days of progressive programming and training on March 31-April 1, 2017. Stay tuned for more details! 

The scholarship application is now available here.

 


ACS National Writing Competitions
 
ACS encourages all students who have written or will write a paper on constitutional law to submit their work to ACS's Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition. The winning author will receive $3,000 and an offer of publication in the UPenn Journal of Constitutional Law. Each of the two runners-up will receive $1,000. The deadline for the 2017 Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition is February 12, 2017.
 
 
ACS is excited to annouce two annual national writing competitions. The winning author of the 7th annual Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law will receive a cash prize as well as special recognition at the ACS National Convention and on the ACS website. The deadline for 2017 Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition is February 5, 2017. 
 
 

Program Guides


2017 Next Generation Leader and Board Member Application

 
ACS is pleased to offer its student members two opportunities to enhance their engagement in the organization’s work: the ACS Next Generation Leaders (NGL) program and a two-year term on the ACS Board of Directors.
 
Students graduating in 2017, 2018 and 2019 who are ACS national members are eligible to apply for the NGL program. Students applying for the Board of Directors must also apply for the NGL program or already be an NGL. 2017 graduates are not eligible to apply for the Board of Directors position.
 
Click here for more information and to download the application form.

Discounted 3L Membership
 
After graduation, continue to stay active in one of ACS's more than 40 lawyer chapters around the country. ACS offers a Discounted Young Lawyer Membership rate of $10 to 2016 graduates, so be sure to take advantage of this deal. Your membership will be good through December 2017!
 

2016 National Convention: June 9-11, 2016

 
 
 
 
Thank you to all of our students that attended this year's National Convention. It was a huge success and we hope everyone that attended had a memorable experience.  
 
Each year at the National Convention, ACS recognizes student chapters that hold outstanding programming. We would like to congratulate the following student chapters for their work during the 2015-2016 academic year.
 
First, the Rising Chapter of the Year Award went to Georgia State University College of Law for having made the greatest strides as a new or recently revived chapter in establishing a presence on campus, focused on ACS priorities. Second, the Reproductive Rights and Justice Award, presented by ACS and the Center for Reproductive Rights, went to Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law for having placed a significant focus on reproductive rights and justice.
 
Next, the Programming Award went to the following chapters for conducting at least 20 substantive events, mainly focused on ACS priorities, during the school year: The University of Chicago Law School; Duke University School of Law; Harvard Law School; IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law; Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law; The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; University of Pennsylvania Law School; Stanford Law School; UCLA School of Law; and Yale Law School.
 
Finally, the Student Chapter of the Year Award was awarded to the Duke University School of Law for having shown the greatest overall strength in meeting ACS’s mission and goals. Thank you to our students, and congratulations to all!
 
 
Visit the official convention website for more information!
 
Be sure to check out highlights from the 2015 ACS National Convention
 

KEY ORGANIZING RESOURCES

 

PROGRAMMING
 
2016 Program Guide:
 
 
 
 
 
The 2015 Program Guide:
 
 
An Update to the 2014 Program Guide:
 
 
Constitutional Interpretation Events:
 

Consider holding an ACS event on constitutional interpretation! Here are some suggestions for topic ideas: Keeping Faith with the Constitution, It is a Constitution We Are Expounding, The Framers’ Constitution: Toward a Theory of Principled Constitutionalism, The Constitution in 2020 or Windsor, Shelby County, and the Demise of Originalism: A Personal Account.

Back to top


SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Back to top


Student Chapter of the Week December 12
 
University of California, Berkeley School of Law
 

The ACS student chapter at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law has been on a mission this year. With a renewed focus on collaboration, the Berkeley Law chapter has spent the fall working alongside the panoply of student groups on campus, including the Federalist Society, ElectionLaw@Boalt and many others. Notable events this semester have included:

  • The first-ever live recording of the National Constitution Center’s We the People podcast, which features Professor Jeffrey Rosen (George Washington University and President and CEO of the National Constitution Center ) moderating a thought-provoking debate about the presidential candidates and Article III courts with Berkeley Law’s Professor Daniel Farber and Professor Barry McDonald of Pepperdine University School of Law (catch the full episode here!).
  • A discussion with Judge William H. Orrick III about his experience as a young attorney at Georgia Legal Services, the impact of that experience on his career and the important role that legal services continues to play in our legal system today.
  • Three presidential debate watch parties, culminating in an Election Night Returns Party, which was cosponsored with fifteen other student groups.
  • A lively and timely discussion about education reform with Justice Goodwin Liu of the California Supreme Court and Justice Clint Bolick of the Arizona Supreme Court. The event was moderated by ACS Board of Advisors member and Berkeley Law Professor Christopher Edley, Jr.

The Berkeley Law chapter is deeply indebted to its Faculty Advisor Professor Andrew Bradt for being an empowering and available resource to its student leaders. The chapter also thanks the wonderful people at ACS National, whose constant and enthusiastic support made this successful semester of programming possible.


Student Chapter of the Week December 5
 
The University of Chicago Law School
 

The University of Chicago Law School ACS student chapter has been exceptionally busy this quarter. Some of our highlights include:

  • A discussion on Justice Scalia's legacy and the long-term future of the Supreme Court with Geoffrey R. Stone;
  • A talk on national developments in civil legal aid with Ariel Levinson-Waldman;
  • A panel on sentencing in sexual assault cases;
  • A discussion on the role of lawyers in policy-making for disadvantaged communities;
  • A talk on the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with Jennifer Nou;
  • A panel on executive power in times of legislative gridlock; and
  • A panel on safe spaces and trigger warnings.

The chapter also taught constitutional law to local grade schoolers and volunteered at a naturalization and citizenship clinic to assist immigrants applying for citizenship.

The University of Chicago ACS would like to thank its speakers, faculty advisers, Professor Geoffrey R. Stone and Professor Jennifer Nou, and fellow student organizations for helping to make this year such a success.

 

Student Chapter of the Week November 28
 
Washington University School of Law in St. Louis

This year, the ACS student chapter at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis has hit the ground running. With the invaluable support of faculty advisors, Professors Karen Tokarz and Gregory Magarian, the WashU Law chapter has recruited a record number of new members and continues to serve as a lasting progressive institution for the student body. The chapter organized a variety of events this fall semester including:

·         A discussion on the efficacy of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law with Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia;

·         An annual Supreme Court Year-in-Review panel with Professors Susan Frelich AppletonLee EpsteinBill FreivogelGregory Magarian, and Karen Tokarz;

·         A presentation on how to be a progressive lawyer at a law firm with the Hon. David Lillehaug, Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court;

·         A discussion on recent trends in immigration law with Jessica Mayo, Co-Director of the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project (MICA Project);

·         Three presidential debate watch parties with the WashU Law chapter of the Federalist Society;

·         A voter registration table in the courtyard of the law school;

·         An Election Protection training session with Professor Denise Lieberman, Senior Attorney at the Advancement Project, to encourage community engagement among the student body and bolster the integrity of the voting process; and

·         A presentation on using technology to increase access to justice for low income and marginalized communities by James J. Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation.

 

The WashU Law chapter is already gearing up for the spring semester by planning events on the ambit of First Amendment rights, environmental justice, access to healthcare and more! Chapter members will also be preparing to teach local middle school students about constitutional rights through the Constitution in the Classroom Program.

 


Student Chapter of the Week November 21
 
Cornell Law School 

The ACS Student Chapter at Cornell University Law School has had a busy semester full of events! Highlights include:

  • A panel on the future of drone warfare and the Fourth Amendment (in partnership with the Federalist Society, the National Security Law and Policy Society and the Cornell Law Veterans Association);
  • A panel with Milo Primeaux, LGBT Rights Project Staff Attorney at Empire Justice Center, on the future of transgender healthcare (co-sponsored by Lambda Law Association and If/When/How);
  • A panel on the Future of the Supreme Court (in partnership with the Federalist Society and the National Lawyers Guild);
  • A conversation with John Bonifaz, Co-Founder and President of Free Speech for People, on the future of overturning Citizens United;
  • A fun night of Sex Ed Trivia with Lambda Law Association and If/When/How;
  • A speaker event, “Don’t Talk to Cops,” on the importance of asserting Fifth Amendment Rights (in partnership with the Federalist Society and the National Lawyers Guild);
  • Watch parties for all three Presidential Debates and the Vice Presidential Debate;
  • A discussion of Whole Women’s Health with David Brown, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights (in partnership with If/When/How);
  • A conversation with Hon. Lorna G. Schofield, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, about the Gavel Gap (in partnership with the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association);
  • A Voter Registration Drive; and
  • A Constitution Day Constitution in the Classroom program with Upward Bound teaching local high school students about the importance and mechanics of electoral politics.

The chapter will also have one final event with Professor Santiago Legarre on constitutional rights and natural rights.

We’re grateful to faculty advisors Professor Michael Dorf and Professor John Blume, Meghan, Kate, Peggy, Emma, and the entire ACS National staff for their support and guidance!

 
Student Chapter of the Week November 14
 

University of California Los Angeles School of Law

 

 

The ACS Student Chapter at UCLA Law has had an eventful semester so far. Highlights include:

 

-          A Constitution Day event about what it means to uphold the Constitution from the perspective of those who’ve worked in judicial, executive and legislative capacities. The event featured the Hon. Lamar Baker, Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District; Professor Joshua Groban, Senior Advisor to California Governor Jerry Brown; and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, former member of the Los Angeles City Council and Board of Supervisors;

-          A panel on voting rights in the 2016 election, featuring Loyola Law School Professor Jessica LevinsonAnn Rushton, Voter Service Committee Chair of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; and Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) (co-sponsored with Law Women of UCLA);

-          A discussion led by Professor Devon Carbado on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Utah v. Strieff and what it means for the Fourth Amendment (event co-sponsored with Black Law Students Association and Critical Race Studies program); and

-          A Gavel Gap program with Hon. Carolyn B. Kuhl, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court; and Professor Rachel Moran, Dean Emerita and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law (co-sponsored with La Raza Law Students Association and the Womyn of Color Collective).

 

ACS at UCLA has more exciting events planned for the semester, including:

-          A panel on campaign finance with Adam Lioz, Counsel and Senior Advisor, Policy & Outreach at Demos; and USC Gould School of Law Professor Abby Wood; and

-          A discussion with Professor Suja A. Thomas about her book, The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries

 

The chapter would like to thank Faculty Advisor and ACS National Board Member Adam Winkler for his guidance, support and contributions to the chapter and the broader ACS community. 

 

Student Chapter of the Week November 7
 
Columbia Law School

The Columbia Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society has been hard at work this semester planning events, initiatives, and engaging with communities on and off campus. ACS at CLS is grateful to our faculty advisor Professor Gilllian Metzger, and Meghan, Kate, Peggy, Emma, and the entire ACS National staff for their support and guidance.

This year, ACS at CLS:

  • successfully petitioned the Columbia Law School administration to record all classes on Monday, November 7 and Tuesday, November 8 after gathering the support of over 170 students and 21 student organizations - an effort that will allow students to vote and protect the right to vote on Election Day;
  • hosted Fixing the Court: How the Supreme Court Can Become More Open and Accessible with Gabe Roth, founder of Fix the Court; Professor David Pozen; and Alicia Bannon of the Brennan Center;
  •  hosted Corporate Citizen, a book talk with Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy;
  •  hosted The Missing American Jury, a book talk with Professor Suja Thomas;
  • co-sponsored a career panel with federal government attorneys;
  •  launched our new website and Twitter feed (@ColumbiaLawACS):

And ACS at CLS is not done for the semester!

  • On November 1, ACS at CLS will co-sponsor a symposium on barriers to trans survival and self-determination with community organizers from the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Audre Lorde Project;
  • Also on November 1, ACS at CLS will co-sponsor an event on the North Carolina voter ID case with Dale Ho of the ACLU;and
  • On November 14, ACS at CLS will welcome Roberta Kaplan - who represented Edie Windsor in the landmark LGBTQ+ equality case U.S. v. Windsor - and other litigators for a talk about new frontiers in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.

Lastly, ACS at CLS is engaging in an ongoing campaign to cancel classes on Election Day beginning in 2017!


Student Chapter of the Week October 31
 
Harvard Law School

 

The Harvard Law School ACS Student Chapter has had a wonderful start to the academic year!

Our Director of Programs has brought several wonderful speakers to campus, including:          

  • Justice Elena Kagan, United States Supreme Court;
  • Justice Goodwin Liu, California Supreme Court;
  • David Cole, Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center and incoming ACLU National Legal Director;
  • Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School;
  • Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law and Anthropology at Boston University School of Law;
  • Robert Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government;
  • Annette Gordon-Reed, Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, and a Professor of History at Harvard University;
  • Natalicia Tracy, Executive Director of the Brazilian Immigrant Center; and
  • Andrew Bacevich, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University.

The chapter is also working with the Harvard Law and Policy Review to put on a symposium entitled, "The Obama Legacy: Triumphs, Defeats, and the Path Forward."

Our Director of Supreme Court Moots partnered with the Harvard Law Review and the Harvard Law School Federalist Society to organize two moot court arguments. Practitioners included Lisa Blatt, Partner at Arnold & Porter LLP, who mooted her Supreme Court argument in the case of Bravo-Fernandez v. United States and David A. Cortman, Senior Counsel and Vice President of U.S. Litigation at Alliance Defending Freedom, who mooted his argument in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley.

Our Director of Mentorship and Membership and Director of Community Engagement teamed up to welcome all students back to campus with a fantastic 1L Mentorship Program, debate watch parties, mixers with ACS members and socials with other student groups. 

Our Director of Alumni Relations has been working with a committee to develop an alumni database and alumni newsletter.

Finally, the chapter would like to thank faculty advisor, Professor Michael Klarman, for his support.

 

Student Chapter of the Week October 24
 

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Under the leadership of faculty advisor Professor Daniel Tokaji, the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law ACS Student Chapter has laid the groundwork for a year of significant programming and influence in the Columbus legal community. The chapter worked tirelessly over the summer to bring a variety of programming to Moritz. Working with other student organizations and faculty, it has hosted various events, including:
 

·   a debate between ACS and the Federalist Society on “How to Read the Constitution”;

·   a discussion highlighting the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 and how 9/11 has impacted civil liberties, national security and military law with Professor Dakota S. Rudesill and Professor Mohamed Helal;

·   a Kickoff Meeting with new and returning students to introduce them to ACS;

·   a Constitution Day Membership Drive to increase ACS National membership;

·   a voter registration drive on National Voter Registration Day with the League of Women Voters;

·   a discussion on the Electoral College with Professor Derek T. Muller, Professor Ned Foley and Patrick Rosenstiel from National Popular Vote;

·   WITNESS: Legal Observation on Campus, in Columbus, and Beyond – a panel discussion on legal observation and student experiences in Cleveland this summer; and

·   a panel on the future of public sector unions after the 4-4 Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association decision.
 

The ACS Moritz Chapter will also host a Supreme Court Roundtable, featuring ACS chapter faculty advisor Professor Daniel Tokaji; a panel on the ACS National report “The Gavel Gap,” featuring Ohio 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown; and a debate on campaign speech between former FEC Chairman Bradley Smith and Professor Daniel Tokaji. The Chapter will also cosponsor the Ohio State Law Journal symposium on “The Expanding First Amendment.”

 

Student Chapter of the Week October 17
 
Yale Law School
 
The Yale Law School ACS Student Chapter has had a busy start to the academic year!

The Programming committee has brought fantastic speakers to campus, including:

·   Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT

·  David Cole, ACLU National Legal Director

·  Faiza Patel, Co-director of the Brennan Center's Liberty and National Security Program

· Alicia Bannon, Senior Counsel in the Brennan Center's Democracy Program

· Michael Hudson, Senior Editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

· Deepak Gupta, Founding Principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC

·Christopher Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies and Co-Director of the Program in Public Law at Duke Law

· Samuel Issacharoff, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU Law

· Lynn Stout, Distinguished Professor of Corporate & Business Law at Cornell Law School

The Scholarship team is organizing the annual Progressive Scholarship Workshop, at which professors present their recent legal scholarship. The weekly workshop is a terrific opportunity to learn about professors’ work and to interact with them in a less formal setting (while getting course credit!). Professors presenting so far have included Jed PurdyJudith ResnikJohn WittDoug Kysar and ACS Board of Academic Advisors member Ganesh Sitaraman.

The Mentorship and Career Development (MCD) committee has organized coffee chats for ACS members, including with 11th Circuit Judge Robin S. RosenbaumDeepak GuptaDavid Lyle and Alicia Bannon. MCD is also organizing the chapter’s Alumni Weekend reception and its Faculty Dinner Series.

Membership and Community Engagement has kept ACS members’ spirits up and helped 1Ls transition into law school with debate watching parties, an ACS-Federalist Society kickball game, 1L Buddies, an “Outsider’s Guide to YLS” panel and more.

Lastly, the Conference Chair is organizing a Yale-New Haven discussion series.

The chapter would like to thank faculty advisor Professor Reva Siegel for all her help!


Student Chapter of the Week October 10
 
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
 

Under the leadership of co-faculty advisors Professor Deborah Tuerkheimer and Professor Erin Delaney, the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ACS Student Chapter has laid the groundwork for a year of significant influence. Over the summer (and in collaboration with the school’s Federalist Society), the chapter spearheaded a successful grassroots campaign to reschedule Election Day classes and allow Northwestern Law students and faculty to serve as election judges, work as poll watchers, and volunteer in important voter protection roles. The campaign has earned national media attention and is now piquing the interest of law schools across the country.

This fall, the chapter has already brought a progressive lens to various issues. Working with other student organizations and faculty, it has hosted discussions and debates on topics including:

· human rights prosecutions in federal court, featuring several Assistant U.S. Attorneys and FBI agents;

·  efforts to fight corruption worldwide, featuring Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Bitkower, Latham & Watkins Partner Sean Berkowitz, and U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon;

· solutions to increase police accountability, featuring MacArthur Justice Center Executive Director Locke Bowman;

· a Supreme Court term preview, featuring Carter Phillips, Partner and Executive Committee Chair of Sidley Austin, LLP; Annie Kastanek, Assistant U.S. Attorney; and Matthew Piers, Partner and President of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.;

·  affirmative action, featuring Loyola University Professor Juan Perea and the Center for Individual Rights’ Michael Rosman; and

· reconciling values and duties as a law clerk, featuring Hon. Gary Feinerman (N.D. Ill.) and Hon. Mary Mikva (Ill. App. 1st).

This weekend, the Northwestern Law chapter will host the inaugural ACS Midwest Regional Convening. The two-day convening includes events co-sponsored by the ACLU of IL; discussions on the ACS Gavel Gap report, recent NLRB decisions, and First Amendment rights of protesters; and remarks from Professor Andrew Koppelman, Professor at Northwestern Law, and Michael Avery, co-author of The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took the Law Back from Liberals.

 

Student Chapter of the Week October 3
 
The University of Pennsylvania Law School
 
 

Under the guidance of their faculty advisor, Professor Kermit Roosevelt, the University of Pennsylvania Law School ACS Student Chapter has had an active year thus far. Over the summer, the chapter worked with the Federalist Society to persuade the law school to (1) record all classes scheduled during election day and (2) offer excused absences to any student volunteering on election day. This semester, the chapter hosted a Fall Semester Kick-Off Meeting where they introduced their board and upcoming programming to a classroom of first year law students. On September 22, they held their first substantive event: a discussion with three constitutional law professors about potential reforms to the Supreme Court, including term limits and financial reporting. The chapter also hosted a voter registration drive and a debate watch party. In conjunction with the Federalist Society, the chapter also cosponsored an event with NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg, about her work and the Supreme Court. The chapter is also hosting the ACS Northeast Regional Convening. This two-day convening will cover a variety of topics, including state courts and diversity on the bench, rights and religious exemptions, police reform, abortion rights, and free speech on college campuses. 


Student Chapter of the Week September 26
 
 
The University of Texas School of Law 
 
 

As the school year begins, the University of Texas School of Law’s ACS Chapter is excited to bring robust programming to their campus this year, including ACS’s regional conference—Getting Radical In The South (GRITS) on October 14-15, 2016.  While increasing their membership and building coalitions inside and outside of the law school (with other progressive organizations and practitioners), the Chapter, under the guidance of co-faculty advisors, Professors William ForbathLynn Blais and Joseph Fishkin, is hosting a variety of events that range from voting rights to a conversation on police-community relations.  The Chapter is also focused on lifting up the work being done in Texas surrounding reproductive justice.  In collaboration with If, When, How (formerly LSRJ), Jane’s Due Process and the Lilith Fund, the Chapter will focus on programming that supports and advances the fight for reproductive justice in Texas and across the country.

Highlights of the Chapter’s programming and achievements are below:

·         A Reproductive Justice 101 Training with Lilith Fund Executive Director, Amanda Williams.

·         A discussion and presentation on Voting Rights in Texas and Beyond, which included a Volunteer Deputy Registrar (VDR) training. The event featured the ACLU of Florida’s Nancy AbuduChad Dunn of Brazil & Dunn (who is litigating the Texas Voter ID case) and Cassandra Champion of the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin.

·         ACS President Kendall Williams recently published an article on ABA for Law Students about Gavel Gap.

·         A Welcome Back Happy Hour to introduce UT Law’s new students to ACS.

·         A strategy meeting with the Austin Lawyer Chapter executive board.

·         The Chapter was a sponsor for Change It Up!, a public interest program that featured Rudy Acree, Jr., the Deputy Director of the Public Defender Service for D.C.

·         The End of an Era: The Supreme Court & the 2016 Election with Jason Steed discussing the Supreme Court over the past 45 years, the pivotal nature of the Garland appointment and the 2016 election.

 

 
For more great ideas from our student chapters, please click here.